Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Washington State Wine Tasting

I am in Seattle for the Society of Wine Educators Conference.
This is no Junket!
Attended some great tastings today at conference - then a fabulous dinner at The Glasshouse where a Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition provided a stunning backdrop

Among the many wines I tasted - before dinner - I wanted to share some highlights of wines to look out for if you get the chance to be in the State or spot them on a wine list:
Brief notes and images below.

Chateau Ste Michelle Eroica Riesling 2007

5 Stars - Wow what a sterling wine - powerful bouquet of sweet citrus laced apple fruits; high acidity and a long floral mineral finish.

Sparkman Cellars Yakima Valley

4 Stars - a Roussane, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc blend - perfectly balanced with medium+ acidity and playful texture - lightly creamy; a lovely aperitif or entree wine.

4.5 Stars - Perhaps the jewel in the crown of this producer - dark, broody, rich and flavorful, youthfully aggressive tannins with a ripe and supple edgyness; medium+ acidity and a longish finish.

Avennia Wines Yakima Valley Syrah 2012

5 Stars - A complete wine with an astounding bouquet of dark red berries, wild violets and complexity. What I like most about this producer is the way in which he captures textures and synergy from the first taste to the last sip - there is great mouth feel with this wine - the hands off but attention to detail in the process style works here completed with a minimum fining and filtration.

Betz Family Winery Columbia Valley 

All the wines in the line up today are worthy of mention - however the one that shows off this producer the most is the Besoleil GSM blend (2nd picture below). 

4 Stars - a charming fragrant and floral bouquet with lush red fruit leading the way; juicy tannins and medium+ (ish) acidity with a lengthy finish. A wine and style this producer should embrace and make lots more of. Looking forward to trying more in the range some time soon.

Gramercy Cellars Syrah 2011 Walla Walla

A flagship style for the state and Syrah - Greg Harrington MS and assistant Winemaker - Brandon Moss clearly demonstrate their understanding of Syrah and its boundaries with this expression - bold, rich, calm fruit and broody tannins - a bit like a Stallion chomping on the bit ready to race. Fabulous structure and balance; medium+ acidity, controlled alcohol, long finish.
5 Stars

Some images from the Chihuly exhibition below:

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